Gold Ribbon Banner
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Here is a photograph of four of Mr Hogarth’s “Young Gentlemen” preparing to resume work, painting in the ships name and port of registry on the stern, all identification having been painted over during the war years.

Baron Herries paintingThese are the four apprentices who took part in ‘Operation Crow’ about a year later during the same voyage, as related in my old sailors yarn ‘Stone the Crows” published in the April 2014 issue of Sea Breezes. They are, from left to right; Jimmy Laughland, Harry Kennan (Senior App), Robert Fullarton and Joe McKendrick. The Deck Serang (bosun) Sherazul Huq and one of his men are on deck looking down to see what was going on.

Jimmy, just joined for his first trip, should not have been on an overside stage 20 ft above the water and he certainly should not have been sitting outside of the stage rope. When this photo was taken, a few months after the end of the war, the ship was still painted overall in dirty, matt, grey and now, for the first time, the Baron Herries was to be painted in Hogarth’s colours.

As there were no painters of the proper trade available, we apprentices were given the job of finding where Baron Herries and Ardrossan had been cut into the shell plating then wash the area and paint a black rectangle ready for the lettering. Next day we had to follow the faint chisel marks and line out the letters in white, using a small brush, then filling them in. We considered this to be a nice, clean, interesting job. One which when out of sight we could get on with in our own time. When actually working overside, one of us would be “stand-by” on deck to tend the stage ropes and see that nobody else touched them, to lower the paint pots and any other gear as required and to tell us when it was time to “knock off”. He would have a lifebuoy close at hand ready to throw close to, but not at anyone of us who had the misfortune to fall into the dock. That lifebuoy and the rope ladder going down past the stage to the water were the only, self-organised, safety measures taken.

How did I come to be standing on that stage?

When I was in the City Line office asking to be taken on as a Cadet with no pre-sea training, their Superintendent, rather rudely, requested me to remove myself from his office. On the way out, an aged clerk took me aside. “Laddie” he said with typical Glasgow humour, “Try Hogarths, St Vincent Street. They’ll take you on as long as you are still warm and can stand up” and he was dead right.

At Hogarth’s office nobody asked if I could swim, obviously a useful skill when working overside. In fact they didn’t ask very much at all. No questions about what work I had done or where I lived. They didn’t want to know about my schooling or what games I played. As long as I could pass the Shipping Office medical and eyesight tests and was issued with an Identity Card and a Discharge Book they were “pleased” to offer me a four years apprenticeship in order to keep up their number of apprentices and man their ships. It was a bit like joining the French Foreign Legion. No questions asked about my past, they just wanted to know if I was physically fit to work for them for the next four years.

It was up to me if I was to learn anything during that time towards obtaining a Second Mates Certificate. That was none of their business. With Hogarths, there was no standard working gear. We wore any old clothes that we could find, it was still the days of clothes rationing. As you can see they got rather dirty and, with no laundry facilities onboard, were occasionally scrubbed on a hatch top using hard soap and a bucket of hot water. That didn’t make them very clean but it was the best we could do.

You can also see that the three of us, standing, who had been with Hogarths for some time, are all slim and fit looking. No doubt as a result of our carefully managed shipboard diet and plenty of outdoor exercise. Of the four on the stage, three eventually held F G Masters Certificates, but I was the only one who remained at sea and, in due time, sailed a Master on vessels of the Clan Line fleet.

4 Ewenfield Avenue
Ayr, Scotland, KA7 2QQ

For more letters, see the latest edition of Sea Breezes Magazine
Click on the links below to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!


Most Popular

  • Lifeboat Withdrawn After Some Crew Stood Down +

  • Scorpene Sub Snags +

  • New Crane Lifts Business Growth +

  • An Unexpected Job in Cuba +

  • Test Spells The End of Paper Bills of Lading +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Two Gulf Tankers Set on Fire in Attacks +

    Kokuka Courageous Two loaded tankers were set on fire after being attacked with limpet mines in international waters in the Gulf of Read More
  • Lifeboat Withdrawn After Some Crew Stood Down +

    Peterhead Lifeboat Peterhead lifeboat has been taken out of action by the RNLI. Read More
  • Test Spells The End of Paper Bills of Lading +

    CargoX Demo It is possible to stop using the paper Bill of Lading according to a test of CargoX’s blockchain-based Smart Bill Read More
  • New Crane Lifts Business Growth +

    Hull Port A new £3.5mn hybrid Liebherr crane has been delivered to Associated British Ports (ABP) for operation at Hull to support Read More
  • Crowds Tribute to the Last Tyne +

    Annie Blaker The last of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s famous Tyne class lifeboats was launched for the last time at her Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Record Set by Largest US Ship for Hawaii Service +

    Lurline The largest combination container, roll-on, roll-off ship ever built in the United States was formerly named in a ceremony at Read More
  • $293mn for Port Projects +

    Long Beach port The United States is to invest $292.7mn in the country’s ports through a new Port Infrastructure Development Programme. Read More
  • Facility Exports First Cargo of Propane to Japan +

    Sumire Gas The first marine export facility for propane in Canada has been officially opened. Read More
  • Changes in Tolls for Using Panama Canal +

    MSC Pohlin The Panama Canal plans to modify its tolls structure for all types of ships “to better serve the global maritime Read More
  • Largest LNG Carrier Sails From West to East +

    Al Safliya The largest LNG tanker to use the Panama Canal since it was expanded less that three years ago passed through Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • Line Adds Automated Power Kite to Propulsion +

    Airseas The Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen KK (K Line) aims to cut ship greenhouse gas emissions with automated power kites. Read More
  • ONE Express to North Sea and Baltic +

    ONE Apus The Japanese shipping line Ocean Network Express (ONE) was due to start an enhanced North Sea Baltic Service with Russia Read More
  • MOL Links with Russian Uni for Crew Training +

    Makarov University The Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Russian university on co-operation Read More
  • “Prelude” Makes its Debut With First LNG Cargo +

    Prelude The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has left Shell’s floating LNG facility Prelude some 475kms north-east of Broome Read More
  • Special Navigating System to be Fitted to VLCCs +

    AR Nav Following two-ship trials, augmented reality (AR) navigation systems are to be installed on 21 very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs) Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Scorpene Sub Snags +

    INS Khanderi indian News The troubled Scorpene class submarine program hit another snag in June. Read More
  • US Navy’s Frigate Program Passes Significant Hurdle +

    USS Minneapolis-St Paul US News The US Navy has unveiled its plans for the purchase of a new frigate known as FFG(X). Read More
  • Fourth Dreadnought Named HMS “King George VI” +

    Dreadnought Class UK News The fourth member of the new Dreadnought class of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines will bear the name Read More
  • US Navy Orders Flight II Landing Platform Dock +

    LDP30 American News The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio Read More
  • US Navy Seeks Faster Ship Delivery +

    FFGX Rendering American News The future frigate program for the US Navy is getting fully underway and some idea of the urgency Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Fragile Future for Calmac +

    Isle of Arran TMore and more, I am reading reports that say the media, and the public too, are well aware of the Read More
  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • CalMac Heritage +

    Columba I include a fine poster and artist’s image of the famed Macbrayne paddler Columba. Read More
  • Russian Adventure +

    Ocean Adventurer To the North East Coast and arriving at Aberdeen for the first time for many months, I witnessed a passenger Read More
  • Windemere Jetties +

    Osprey and Branksome Last month I commented on the new setting of the classic collection of mainly steam boats held at Windermere. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • The Green Band of Marstal +

    Bessie Ellen The Danish Maritime Museum had the schooner Bonavista built on the island of Aero at Marstal and this year they Read More
  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • Port of Aberdeen Fifty Years On +

    Aberdeen Harbour Extension Project When I first arrived in Aberdeen in 1968, I couldn’t believe my luck. Read More
  • Thames Tributary Barges +

    Lady of the Lea Most of the rivers flowing into the Thames had their own barge type. Read More
  • Dry Rot and Dry Dock +

    HMS Victory For some time Victory, the 110gun ship of the line, has had trouble with dry rot and is in danger Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • President Opens ‘Largest UK Ship Simulation Centre’ +

    Sir Michael Bibby With the training of seafarers being so important to safety at sea, and in particular navigation equipment and bridge procedures, Read More
  • Hands-Free Mooring at St Lawrence Seaway +

    St Lawrence Seaway I feel there are probably many readers, like me, who feel a shiver down their spine when they think of Read More
  • Flying the Flag on Merchant Navy Day +

    Red Ensign For more than 35 years, it has been my immense privilege to be a local Isle of Man committee member Read More
  • Lifeline Cash for “Waverley” Agreed +

    Waverley The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) has announced that it will provide immediate funding to support efforts to “Save The Read More
  • Viking Glory Celebrates Keel Laying +

    Front Altair The construction of Viking Glory is proceeding on schedule. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Boudicca Pays Tribute to D-Day Veterans +

    Boudicca Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines were proud to have played its part in hosting 250 D-Day veterans. Read More
  • Captain of a Modern Passenger Carrying Sail Ship +

    Sea Cloud 2 If you have ever wondered what qualities a Captain of a cruise vessel might need to have listed on his Read More
  • Every Ash Cloud Has A Silver Lining +

    The ash cloud crisis continues to cause uncertainty as we see sporadic closures of airspace and cancelled flights, and this Read More
  • Damen Group Superyachts +

    Amels With 25 projects underway, business is booming for Amels, the Dutch luxury yacht builder. Read More
  • Singer Andrea Bocelli Trades Up in Size +

    Stella del Nord Andrea Bocelli, the blind Italian tenor and song writer whose work spans both popular music and classical opera is a Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places


An Unexpected Job in Cuba

In 1948, I joined the MV Yamaska Park as an EDH and, over the first few days aboard, I became Read More
Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features


From Fjords to Fiji

On the morning of 9 October 2014, two patrol boats from the Spanish Maritime Service and Public Safety Unit were Read More
MV Laganbank

Bank Line's Building Boom

50 British built ships over a ten-year period from 1957 to 1967. Read More
  • 1
  • 2